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Learn the model

Gain a basic understanding of Linear's design so you can set up your workspace and navigate efficiently.

Linear interface showing active issues page

Your workspace is your home in Linear and where all issues and interactions live. Most organizations will use one workspace for their whole company.

A workspace can have one or many teams within it. When you first create a workspace, we'll generate a team inside it with the same name. It's up to you how to split up teams, and you can belong to one or many teams.

The most basic concept in Linear is the issue. It's the building block of the app and most other concepts in Linear are either associated with issues, or function to group issues together.

Issues are always tied to one team. Issues have an ID (team and unique number) and are required to have a title and status – all other properties and relations are optional. This makes it fast to create issues and cuts down on unnecessary work (see Write Issues Not User Stories).

You can create issues from anywhere in the app. Try it - open any page in the app and type C.

We support basic issue properties such as priority, estimate, label, due date, and assignee. You can create relations between issues to mark issues as blocked or blocking or create sub-issues. You can also link issues to other apps with integrations.

As you work on and complete issues, they'll move through workflows. These are the statuses that you'll see group issues on list views and show up as column headers on boards. We create a default workflow for you that you can further customize to have more statuses, different names, and colors.

You can update issue statuses manually, but we recommend enabling our smart automations that keep issues up to date and save you the time and hassle of "managing tickets."

Our GitHub and GitLab integrations move issues to In Progress when you copy the git branch name and continues to update the status as the PR is drafted, opened, reviewed, and merged. Cycle automations move issues to and from the backlog and you can set issues to close and archive on their own so lists stay relevant.

Special Statuses
  • Backlog is a status category in Linear. Each team has it's own backlog and teams can add additional backlog statuses to group issues down further.
  • Triage is an optional status in Linear that makes it possible to review issues before accepting them and moving them to your team's backlog or cycles.

We recommend using projects to manage work toward a specific deliverable. Project pages display all issues related to a project, project details, and graphs that show progress and project completion date ranges. Projects can be shared across multiple teams and organized under Roadmaps. The roadmap view shows you all projects across all your Linear teams.

Cycles are similar to sprints and prioritize a set of issues during a specific time period. Cycles are automated and repeating; you'll set a start date and duration for cycles, which will then repeat every N weeks. They specifically do not end in a release. Issues not completed during a cycle roll over to the next cycle and we display basic statistics around estimated workload and percentage completion.

Views group issues or projects according to a set of filters or parameters. You can work from default views that come with your Linear team and workspace as well as create your own.

  • Each team has default views including Issues (all issues in todo or in progress), All (all issues across all statuses), backlog, a board view of Issues, and an Archive.
  • Access views to see all issues under a label, assigned to a user, or part of a cycle or project.
  • My Issues is a curated view that shows you your assigned issues with the most relevant ones first, issues you've created, and ones you're subscribed to.

To build custom views, use filters on an existing view and then create a custom view from those parameters. You can also go to Views in the sidebar and create a custom view from scratch.

Whenever you do something in Linear that changes an issue, project, or another piece of data, you're taking an action.

We've designed Linear so that you can take actions in multiple ways: using buttons, keyboard shortcuts, contextual menus, or by searching for the action in the command line. This makes it easy to figure out how to do anything in the app and build muscle memory since you're always following the same patterns.

For example, let's say you want to apply the label bug to an issue. You can follow any of these steps to do it:

🐭 Open the issue and click the apply label button
🐭 Right-click on the issue from the board or list view and use the contextual menu
⌨️ Use the keyboard shortcut L
⌨️ Open the command menu Cmd/Ctrl K then search label.

To do anything else to an issue–add an estimate, set priority, update status, set the assignee, add it to a project–you follow pretty much the same steps. To do anything to a project from the roadmap or project view, you also take similar steps.

Gif showing how to apply labels

It's easy to update multiple issues at a time in Linear. You can move issues across teams, to and from cycles and projects, apply labels, and change status to tens or hundreds of issues at once. Cmd/Ctrl A will select all issues on a view and then you can take the action using any of the aforementioned methods.

An Undo action (Cmd/Ctrl Z) reverses most actions.

Your keyboard is the fastest method for using Linear. Even if you don't use keyboard shortcuts normally, we recommend learning ones for common actions such as creating an issue. These are the most helpful to learn:

C to create an issue in any view
Cmd/Ctrl K to open the command menu
x to select
Shift Up/Down or Shift Click to select multiple
Esc to go back or clear a list selection

Gif showing keyboard shortcuts panel

Shortcuts follow patterns so that you learn them quickly. Navigate between views with Gthen _shortcuts: G then I to go to the Inbox, G then V to the current cycle, and G then B to the backlog.

O then _ shortcuts launch menus to then open items on a list. O then F opens favorites, O then P opens projects, and Othen C opens cycles.

See the full list of shortcuts by pressing ?.

The command menu lets you search and take any actions applicable to your view or selection.

Launch the command menu with Cmd K on macOS or Ctrl K on Windows or Linux. When using our PWA on mobile or touchscreens, use the two-finger tap to open the command line. We also bring up the command menu when you're clicking on items in the UI that have a corresponding action command menu, such as applying a filter.

The command menu groups its commands based on their functionality. Groups are prioritized based on what you're focusing on, or the view you're currently in. For example, if you are looking at cycles, the command menu will first display commands that are related to cycles. Groups are then further subdivided based on the type of command, making it easier to skim over large sets.

Of course, you can navigate and take actions with your mouse. We have buttons, more menus, and dropdowns throughout the app. Right-clicking on issues in lists or boards or projects on the timeline will bring up contextual menus with foolproof safe areas.